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Russia's rocket and space infrastructure: Click with the right mouse (PC) or control click (Mac) on the map to invoke the interactive menu.


SHORES OF THE UNIVERSE: Russia's space launch and rocket test sites



EARS AND EYES OF SPACE: Russia's command and control network (KIK)

To support its rocket and space fleet, the Soviet Union deployed an extensive network of ground control stations, ships and planes. Traditionally, the ground control station are operated by the military. The original network was built to support the testing of the Soviet ballistic missiles and soon evolved into space control and monitoring infrastructure managed by NII-4 scientific-research institute of the Ministry of Defense.




BUILDING THE FUTURE: Russia's rocket and space industry

Unlike most Western countries, Russia does not have aerospace industry. Instead it has rocket and space industry. This rather odd arrangement is a result of the skepticism toward rocket technology shown by the leaders of the Soviet aviation industry at the end of the World War II. When in 1946, the Soviet government launched its secret program of ballistic missile development, the Ministry of Armaments, previously dealing mostly with artillery production, took on the responsibility of managing the new and controversial technology. As a result, all the plants, labs and test sites had to be built from scratch. Yet, in a little more than a decade, the Soviet rocket scientists went from the first copy of the German A-4 missile to a rocket capable of placing satellite into orbit.

After a restructuring of the mid-1960s, the Ministry of General Mashine Building managed space industry. In 1990s, Russian Space Agency, RSA, assumed the role. In 1999, during another restructuring, RSA took over the responsibility for 315 organizations from the aviation industry, for the first time bringing aviation and space industry under management of the same federal agency.

In depth:

The origin of the Soviet rocket and space industry

NEW, March 3: Russian space agency, Roskosmos

Russian space industry in the first decade of the 21st century

Russian space industry in the 2010s

Space industry centers: